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Talat Mahmood - The King of Ghazals
Courtesy: http://www.talatmahmood.com

TALAT MAHMOOD WAS BORN IN LUCKNOW, INDIA, ON FEB 24 , 1924. HE WAS ONE AMONGST SIX CHILDREN AND HIS FATHER MANZOOR MAHMOOD RAN AN ELECTRICAL CURIO STORE. TALAT SHOWED HIS MUSICAL LEANINGS FROM A VERY YOUNG AGE AND WOULD ENJOY SITTING THROUGH ALL-NIGHT MUSIC SOIREE'S LISTENING PATIENTLY TO SOME OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN CLASSICAL INDIAN MUSIC THEN . LATER TALAT STUDIED MUSIC AT THE MARRIS MUSIC COLLEGE.

TALAT MAHMOOD BEGAN HIS SINGING CAREER AT THE AGE OF 16 WHEN HE BEGAN SINGING THE GHAZALS OF DAAG, MIR, JIGAR ETC. ON ALL INDIA RADIO, LUCKNOW. HIS VOICE HAD A QUALITY DISTINCT FROM ALL THE OTHER SINGERS. HMV WAS QUICK TO NOTICE THIS AND OFFERED TALAT HIS FIRST DISC IN 1941 '' SAB DIN EK SAMAAN NAHIN THA, BAN JAOONGA KYA SE KYA MAIN, ISKA TO KUCH DHYAN NAHIN THA ''. INDEED HOW PROPHETIC WERE THESE WORDS . LITTLE DID TALAT KNOW THAT HE WAS SOON TO RISE TO BECOME THE GREATEST NAMES IN GHAZALS ON THE INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT  !

IN 1941 CAME THE SMASH HIT '' TASVEER TERI DIL MERA BEHLA NA SAKEGI ''. I'TS POPULARITY WAS SO PHENOMENAL AND UNRIVALLED THAT EVEN TODAY IT REMAINS ONE OF THE TOP SELLING NON-FILM DISCS. THIS DISC BROUGHT TALAT FAME THROUGHOUT INDIA AND SOON HE WAS BECKONED BY THE CALCUTTA FILM INDUSTRY. APART FROM SINGING MANY HIT BENGALI, URDU AND HINDI SONGS TALAT ALSO ACTED IN 3 FILMS.

BUT FATE HAD EVEN BIGGER THINGS IN STORE FOR TALAT AND IN 1949 TALAT CAME TO THE HOLLYWOOD OF INDIA - BOMBAY. HIS NAME AND FAME HAD ALREADY PRECEDED HIM AND PEOPLE IN THE BOMBAY FILM INDUSTRY WERE ALREADY AWARE OF THIS TALENTED SINGER AND SOON HE WAS OFFERED THE SONG '' AE DIL MUJHE AISI JAGHA LE CHAL JAHAN KOI NA HO '' , COMPOSED BY TOP-NOTCH MUSIC DIRECTOR ANIL BISWAS AND PICTURISED ON THE GREAT DILIP KUMAR. THE COMBINATION WAS ELECTRIFYING . THE RECORD WAS AN OVERNIGHT SUCCESS AND SET THE TREND FOR THE FILMI GHAZAL.

IN TALAT , THE MUSIC DIRECTORS HAD FOUND THE PERFECT VOICE FOR THE GHAZALS. HIS DICTION AND INTONATION WERE WORD PERFECT. HIS EXPRESSIVE STYLE AND EMOTIONAL NUANCES WERE UNPARALLELED. THE MELLOWNESS, SWEETNESS AND PATHOS IN HIS VOICE SET HIM APART FROM ALL THE OTHER SINGERS. HERE WAS A VOICE THAT WAS FRESH !  THE STYLE ABSOLUTELY NEW !!  HE WAS UNANIMOUSLY HAILED AS '' THE KING OF GHAZALS '', A TITLE HE CONSOLIDATED OVER THE PERIOD OF YEARS TO BECOME THE GREATEST NAME IN GHAZALS. HIS ROMANTIC DUETS AND SOLOS NUMBERED IN HUNDREDS AND HIT AFTER HIT FOLLOWED AND TALAT GREW INTO A LEGEND. HOWEVER, THE HANDSOME YOUNG GHAZAL KING DID NOT GO UNNOTICED BY THE FILM PRODUCERS , WHO BESIEGED HIM WITH OFFERS TO ACT IN THEIR FILMS. TALAT WAS TO FINALLY ACCEPT 13 FILMS WITH TOP HEROINES LIKE NUTAN, MALA SINHA, SURAIYA AND OTHERS BEFORE HE DECIDED THAT ACTING WAS NOT HIS FORTE.AND HENCE TALAT GAVE UP ACTING TO CONCENTRATE ON SINGING.

TOWARDS THE LATE 60'S THE FILMI GHAZALS AND GOOD ENJOYABLE ROMANTIC SONGS GAVE WAY TO THE ELECTRONIC RYTHMS OF THE DISCO GENERATION. DISLIKING THE NEW TREND TOWARD LOUD MEANINGLESS MUSIC , TALAT DECIDED TO RETIRE FROM FILM SINGING BUT CONTINUED HIS NON-FILM RECORDINGS

AS A SINGER , TALAT HAS ALREADY SECURED A PLACE IN HISTORY. OVER THE YEARS , THE KING OF GHAZALS HAS CREATED A CATALOGUE OF SONGS FOR GENERATIONS TO COME. HE STRIDES LIKE A COLOSSUS IN THE FIELD OF GHAZALS - A KING WHOSE NAME IS SURPASSED BY NONE .



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